UC Research Institute for Sport and Exercise
11 Kirinari Street
High performance sport research
What we do
The High Performance Sport Research Centre undertakes projects which combine University of Canberra expertise in sports management, science, medicine, design and technology with that of external partners. These include: the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Sports Commission, the ACT Academy of Sport, the Queensland Academy of Sport, national sporting organisations (such as Swimming Australia and Rowing Australia) and professional sports clubs (such as Brumbies Super XV rugby). By bringing together interdisciplinary research teams, the High Performance Sport Research Centre combines expertise in multiple academic disciplines to address real-world problems in areas including athlete support and preparation, as well as high performance sport administration
The project combined expertise in exercise regulation (UCRISE) with that of environmental (altitude/hypoxic/heat/humidity) exercise paradigms (AIS) in order to: "Manipulate oxygen delivery to improve human performance and elucidate mechanisms of human exercise regulation (pacing) from the perspective of central and peripheral fatigue". The project aimed to: a) improve training techniques underpinning the competitive performance of elite Australian athletes; b) establish a quality research collaboration to bid for a continuation of funding; and c) raise the international profile of the University of Canberra through world-class sports science research.
The project was funded jointly by the University of Canberra and the AIS for a three year period. Chief Investigators were Professor Kevin Thompson (UCRISE) and Professor Chris Gore (AIS Head of Physiology, Adjunct Professor at University of Canberra). A Post-Doctoral Fellowship held by Dr Laura Garvican-Lewis was funded through the project. A number of other researchers were involved, including: Dr Judith Anson (UC), Dr Philo Saunders (AIS), Dr Tony Rice (AIS) and Dr Meg Ross (AIS). In addition, two APA and AIS Scholarship funded PhD candidates (Michael Davies and Amy Woods) undertook studies supporting the project.
In 2013, two grants were awarded by the ACT Strategic Opportunities Fund ($150 k) and the AIS ($100 k) to support the development of an environmental chamber in the UC Sporting Commons. The Commons house sports training, education and research facilities and are also the home of the Brumbies Super XV rugby team.
The environmental (acclimation) chamber allows exercise to be undertaken under different conditions by controlling internal temperature, humidity and oxygen pressure (to simulate altitude). The chamber supports research into performance and health enhancing adaptations in simulated environments and provides a facility for AIS elite athletes to acclimatise to the environmental conditions in which they may be competing abroad. It is also available for student laboratory practicals and internships. The Chief Investigators are Professor Kevin Thompson (UCRISE) and Professor Chris Gore (AIS Head of Physiology, Adjunct Professor at University of Canberra).
A significant number of projects have been initiated in the chamber across a wide range of applied sports projects involving able-bodied and paralympic athletes. Investigators include: Professor Kevin Thompson (Director, UCRISE), Professor Chris Gore (AIS Head of Physiology), Dr Laura Garvican (UC/AIS), Dr Philo Saunders (AIS), Dr Tony Rice (AIS), Dr Meg Ross (AIS), Professor David Pyne (AIS), Dr Jo Vaille (AIS), Dr Ollie Jay (University of Sydney), Dr Naroa Etxebarria (UCRISE), Dr Kate Pumpa (UCRISE), Dr Ben Rattray (UCRISE), Dr Christos Argus (Brumbies Rugby) and Dr Matt Driller.